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Vista Sidebar will be on Windows XP

Well, that was a bit of a surprise.

A demo in a session on Gadget development for Windows Vista here at the Microsoft PDC just showed the Windows Vista Sidebar running on Windows XP. I'm guessing that WinFX will be a prerequisite, but still that dramatically increases the potential audience for Gadgets.

Gadgets are useful - single function information delivery applications that are hosted by the Sidebar, very like Mac OS X Dashboard Widgets.

Not ready for prime time yet, but an interesting development, as it means that Microsoft is looking at adding rich internet functionality into Windows XP. That's a bit more competition for Yahoo!'s Konfabulator. What's also interesting is that the DHTML/CSS/JavaScript model used for Gadgets will make it relatively easy to port OS X Dashboard Widgets...

Interesting times.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC)
And hopefully vice versa.
Sep. 16th, 2005 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: *sigh*
I expect so.
Sep. 16th, 2005 07:55 am (UTC)
WinFX not required
The current implementation of the sidebar supports, but does not require, WinFX. We want to be as lightweight as possible, loading the heavier stuff on demand. I can't guarantee that will be the final design, but being small and fast is very important to us. I think the Windows Perf team would kick us out of the OS if we weren't. *grin*
Sep. 16th, 2005 09:18 am (UTC)
Now, if only MS and Apple would get together and hammer out a standard (with extensions on both sides, as per usual, of course), to make it even easier...

Personally, I'm not a big gadget person - I tend to use a single app at a time, maximised to the whole screen. When I want to use a different app, I alt-tab to it. Gadgets will, therefore, mostly be hanging about on the desktop, unseen. System Tray widgets are more my style.
Sep. 16th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's my position too...
Sep. 16th, 2005 09:50 am (UTC)
"Microsoft is looking at adding rich internet functionality into Windows XP."

And this is good how, exactly?

This stuff is a security hole. A H-U-U-U-U-G-E sucking security vacuum hoovering up all your online safety and ejecting a blizzard of net.porn spamming worms over your desktop. (Potentially.)

I talk to some folks who fulminate about Microsoft doing this touchy-feely consumer shit. Because that's what it is -- it's fuzzy warm buttons for the end-users to cuddle. Which is all well and good in a home machine, but it does so not belong in the core operating system (like a web browser, for that matter). These peeps are required to roll out large deployments on Windows because it's Policy set by their directors, and they have to deal with the crap that comes out of it and lock it down. I'm talking about public agencies here, government agencies, police forces. And large companies who want to stick terminals on their shop floors.

Back when this stuff came with Konfabulator, that was fine. You had to actually go out and, like, install it. Where it's going ...? Four words:

Worms with Web Services.

Sep. 16th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
You'll still have to go out and install this stuff.

This isn't core OS funnctionality - it's just a tool to add ways of delivering time-dependent information to users. Gadgets can be as fancy as you want, or as simple as you want - and it's easy to make sure it isn't part of a core image.

The code is just XHTML and script, and is application hosted (just like Konfabulator), so it gets a cosy little sandbox to play in. It's also a good way to deliver notifications directly to end users
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )